Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2021 March, 253(3)

Decreased Stroke Volume and Venous Return in School Children with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

Shino Jimbo,1 Yukihiko Fujita,1 Wakako Ishii,1 Hidemasa Namiki,1 Masataka Kato,1 Akiko Komori,1 Yuriko Abe,1 Hiroshi Kamiyama,1 Mamoru Ayusawa1 and Ichiro Morioka1

1Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

In postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a subtype of orthostatic intolerance, the changes in hemodynamics due to postural changes are poorly understood. We speculated that inappropriate venous return, which may occur in the upright position in patients with school-aged POTS, could be detected by echocardiography. Our prospective study was conducted with 100 POTS patients (45 boys and 55 girls), aged 13.1 ± 1.5 years and 52 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects (control). Echocardiography was performed in the supine and sitting positions. Cardiac parameters [stroke volume index, cardiac index, heart rate, and the maximum inferior vena cava diameter (max IVC)] were evaluated in addition to pulse pressure. Unlike the control subjects, POTS patients demonstrated decreased stroke volume index (P = 0.02) and max IVC (P < 0.01) irrespective of posture. The rates of max IVC change did not differ between control and POTS groups. The enrolled POTS patients were divided into two subgroups [dilatation (n = 57) and contraction (n = 43)] based on whether the change rate of max IVC was less than zero or not. The contraction group showed a significantly higher heart rate than the dilatation group with respect to posture (P = 0.03), indicating the poor response of peripheral vessels in the lower limbs only in the contraction group. In conclusion, echocardiographic assessment detected decreased stroke volume and venous return in POTS. The changes in max IVC in response to postural changes may indicate an underlying pathophysiology in POTS.

Key words —— echocardiography; inferior vena cava; orthostatic intolerance; postural tachycardia syndrome; posture


Tohoku J. Exp. Med 2021 253, 181-190.

Correspondence: Ichiro Morioka, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Nihon University School of Medicine,

30-1 Ohyaguchi-kamicho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan.